Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO

Unima 90 years: Anniversary exhibition

Last updated: 06-04-2022

People and puppets :
Believe and create
a common future for the puppet

Considered as the oldest theatrical association in history, UNIMA plays a fundamental role in bringing together puppeteers from all over the world.

The exhibition People and Puppets: UNIMA, believing and creating a common future for puppetry art (1929-2019) wants to be a birthday party that evokes the history of UNIMA. It constitutes in itself a pivot, which invites a look to the past, questioning the present while projecting itself in the future.

In 2019, it is a question of paying homage to the “fathers and mothers of UNIMA”, to the personalities who have woven the stakes and the relationships of this complex organization, with different references and tools, in order to achieve the goals that the Founders proposed from the first steps in this immense adventure. Personalities who are as many landmarks in the evolution, both structural and aesthetic, of the puppetry arts are also honored. The history of the association unfolds thus in a dialectic between these strong personalities and the development of a common art.

Rereading today and reflecting on what these men, and some women, have given themselves as artistic and professional priorities, reveals us the deployment of a true “puppet culture”. 

Many puppets exhibited have been the object of donations, becoming part of the formation or enrichment of Museums and collections. Donations are a common thread in this history, like so many links between different cultures, testimonies of friendship and a willingness to confront, signs of homage and admiration, links between theaters and companies: openness and hope in a common future.

Conceived by a team led by Cristina Grazioli, in close collaboration with Marek Wazkiel, Idoya Otegui, Lucile Bodson and Dani Freixes, the aim of the exhibition is to tell the story of UNIMA, through the women and men who contributed to its construction. It is a synthesis of the principles that inspired the organization and its international dimension, highlighting the desire for dialogue between the different cultures that characterize UNIMA.

This exhibition is a co-production of UNIMA, TOPIC, the city of Charleville-Mézières and its Museum of the Ardennes, EGEAC – Museum of Lisbon and Orto teatro in Pordenone.